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US-China Relations

Former Senior Diplomat’s Comment “No One Will Stand Up for China” Gets Shut Down

Cai Xia, a former professor at the Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who now lives in exile in the United States, tweeted on March 27 about Fu Ying, who served as China’s vice foreign minister from 2010 to 2013 and is now director of the Center for Strategic and Security Studies at Tsinghua University. Cai tweeted that Fu recently posted an article on WeChat commenting on U.S.-China relations. Fu urged the Chinese to think clearly: “If China and the United States break up or go their separate ways, will any country side with China? What do we really want? What should we do?”

Fu Ying stated that there are talks in China that the United States is declining. “Whether the United States is declining or not is the United States’ own concern. China cannot make the decision on whether the US is declining and repeating the belief that the US is in decline will not make it a reality. China has its own problems to focus on and should not expend all its energy on criticizing the United States. It is unnecessary for both nations to belittle each other continuously. Instead, China and the United States need to resolve their respective issues and cooperate with one another to benefit the world. This is the hallmark of great powers.” Fu concluded the article by expressing her hope that China and the United States can reconcile their differences and work together.

Fu’s comment was deleted shortly after it was posted. Fu’s WeChat page said, “This content is not viewable due to a violation.”

‘Source: Liberty Times (Taiwan), March 27, 2023

China’s Academic Databases Close the Door to Foreign Scholars

The University of California, San Diego library told Voice of America that it received notice on March 17 from the administrator of the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) that it would be unable to access some databases as of April 1. Other affected libraries include the City University of Hong Kong Library, the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy at Academia Sinica in Taiwan, and at least a dozen other research institutions.

Founded in 1999, CNKI is the largest academic database in China. It contains Chinese government reports, academic journals, and papers from 1915 to the present, covering a wide range of fields, including politics, economics, humanities and social sciences, and science and technology. For researchers who do not have physical access to Chinese libraries, the resources provided by the CNKI are particularly important to their research.

Donald Clarke, a professor at George Washington University Law School, said in his tweet, “It is unfortunately China that is by far the most active in decoupling — the most recent example being the closing of foreign access to many important CNKI databases.”

Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, told Voice of America (VOA) that “CNKI has not indicated which databases may never be reopened. He added that researchers outside China could still access these resources by visiting research institutions in China.

“That means, however, that they have to be vetted by Chinese academic institutions before they can be accepted as visiting scholars. Under Xi’s rules, all these institutions are under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).” Tsang noted this, suggesting that the CCP hopes to influence how foreign academics portray China by controlling information.

Perry Link, a U.S.-based China scholar, says this reflects the mindset of the Chinese leadership. “Chinese Communist Party spokesmen often accuse the United States of having a ‘Cold War mentality. In today’s information age, there is nothing more indicative of Cold War thinking than preventing the free flow of government reports and academic papers across borders,” Link told VOA.

Source: Voice of America, March 28, 2023

U.S. Claims Chinese-Made Ammunition Used at Ukrainian Battlefield

Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDAQ: SINA) recently reported that, at a press conference, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry,  addressed a question on Chinese ammunition used in Ukraine. A reporter asked, “According to reports, a U.S. government source said that it had been confirmed that Chinese-made ammunition has been used at the Ukrainian battlefield many times. It may have been fired by the Russian army. Once confirmed, the US side will be ready to take action. The United States has notified its partner countries of the relevant information. What is China’s comment on this matter?” Wang responded, “China has always stood on the side of peace, dialogue and historical correctness, and will continue to play a constructive role in the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.” He emphasized that it is not China that provides weapons to the Ukrainian battlefield, but the U.S. The United States should stop fanning the flames and pointing fingers at other countries. Instead, the U.S. should play a constructive role in resolving the Ukrainian crisis politically, not the other way around. (Chinascope notes: According to a Kyodo News’ March 18 report, the United States found that a large amount of Chinese ammunition was suspected to have been used on the Russian-Ukrainian battlefield. It was a/so suspected that the ammunition was fired by the Russian army. After the U.S. government analyzed the ammunition and other factors, it has been determined that China produced some of the ammunition, but the specific model of the ammunition has not been disclosed.)

Source: Sina, March 20, 2023

Official Media on Xi Jinping’s Visit to Russia: China Should Say Four “Don’ts” to the West

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia, the official Xinhua News Agency published a commentary saying that Western countries were worried about the Chinese leader’s trip to Russia and that China needed to say four “don’ts” to the U.S. and the West.

“Don’t make irresponsible remarks about the normal interactions between sovereign states.” The article said, “Friendship and cooperation between China and Russia are growing. Since 2013, the top leaders of China and Russia have met 40 times; Chinese leaders have visited Russia eight times. Whether the United States and the West like it or not, whether there is a crisis in Ukraine or not, normal contacts between the two countries should not be interrupted.”

“Don’t compare China-Russia relations with those between small groups of U.S. allies.” He added, “The U.S. is stuck in the Cold War mentality, drawing in one faction and isolating the other, forming various alliances and coterie. China and Russia,however, are not allies. It makes no sense for the U.S. and the West to tie China and Russia together at every turn.”

“Don’t undermine China’s efforts to promote peace talks on Ukraine.” The article boasted, “China has recently brokered a successful resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, two of the Middle East’s oldest enemies. This has drawn waves of praise from the international community and made the United States envious and jealous. It is now worried that the Ukraine issue will be turned around in the same way.”

“Stop using the Ukraine crisis as an excuse to attack and sanction China. The writer criticized, “The U.S. has the military, financial and technological hegemony to slander and oppress China. The Russia-Ukraine conflict is another ‘China containment card’ in the hands of the U.S., which links China and Russia and labels them as authoritarian states and an axis of evil in an attempt to tarnish China’s image. The U.S. has also sanctioned some Chinese companies for suspected support of terrorism.”

Source: Central News Agency, March 21, 2023

The U.S. Added More Chinese Tech Companies to the Entity List

Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDQ: SINA) recently reported that the U.S. Department of Commerce has included an additional 28 Chinese companies and research institutions in the so-called Entity List on the grounds of national security and foreign policy interests. The Chinese companies added this time include Inspur Group (a Server hardware supplier), Loongson Technology (a leader in the CPU design field), 4Paradigm Technology (an artificial intelligence provider), BGI Research (genetic research), Suzhou Centec Communications (an Ethernet exchange chip designer), and a number of others. According to the regulations of the U.S. Department of Commerce, companies included in the Entity List must obtain authorization from the U.S. government to obtain U.S. products and technologies. Inspur Group, is a major player in China’s cloud computing, big data, hosting, and the artificial intelligence market. It depends heavily on Intel’s technology for its services. When contacted by reporters for comment, several companies said they were still assessing the situation and impact . A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson commented earlier that the United States has repeatedly generalized the concept of national security, abused export control measures, adopted discriminatory and unfair practices against companies from other countries, and politicized and weaponized economic, trade and technological issues.

Source: Sina, March 3, 2023

CNA: China Plans to Scrutinize the CATL Battery Contract with Ford

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that China will scrutinize the latest contract between Ford Motor Co. and Chinese battery leader CATL to ensure China’s core technology doesn’t fall into Ford’s hands. Given the sensitivity of the contract and the current tensions between China and the United States, top Chinese officials have called for strict scrutiny of the contract. Ford announced, not long ago, that it will invest US$3.5 billion to set up an electric vehicle battery factory in Michigan with the assistance of CATL. According to the contract, CATL will approve the provision of technology and technical assistance required by Ford to produce lithium iron phosphate batteries in Michigan. Republican Senator Marco Rubio has asked the Biden administration to review Ford’s contract to use Chinese technology for the battery plant. A spokesman for Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said that Manchin has voiced serious concerns about the reliance on China for the auto supply chain and that Ford must answer some serious questions before Senator Manchin can fully evaluate the partnership. A Ford spokesman said that, to the best of his knowledge, Chinese government officials were not involved in this deal. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), is a Chinese battery manufacturer. In 2021 it had a global market share of 32.6 percent . It is the biggest lithium-ion battery manufacturer for EVs in the world.

Source: CNA, February 17, 2023

China Lost Its Status as the Largest Trading Partner of the U.S.

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that, according to data released by the US Department of Commerce, last year, China lost its position as the largest trading partner of the U.S. It was replaced by the European Union. In 2022, U.S. imports rose sharply, and the foreign trade deficit reached a record high. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. imported $537 billion in products from China in 2022, lower than the U.S. imports of $553 billion from the European Union. However, overall U.S. imports from China increased from the previous year’s $505 billion in 2021. China’s loss of its status as the largest trading nation of the United States has been blamed largely on Covid-19, as well as the diversification of U.S. supply sources. Particularly supplies from other Asian countries have increased. In the meantime, data shows that the trade dependence between China and the United States remains high. In 2022, the total import and export volume of the two countries broke the historic record again after three years, reaching $690.5 billion. During the same period, the U.S. deficit with China expanded by eight percent to $382.9 billion, the second highest in history after 2018. In 2022, U.S. businesses and consumers had strong demand for foreign-made goods and services, and international trade was recovering from the pandemic. China has not benefited significantly from this recovery.

Source: NetEase, February 9, 2023

U.S. Chip Policy against China Has Shown Results

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that the Chinese tech giant Huawei is once again facing new technology curbs amid an escalation in U.S.-China strategic competition. Some scholars pointed out that, under the cooperation of the United States, Japan and the Netherlands, China’s semiconductor industry is facing real danger. Also, two months after China’s largest chipmaker, Yangtze Memory Technology, was included in the “Entity List” of entities banned by the U.S. Department of Commerce, it announced plans to lay off 10 percent of its workforce. The U.S. government has stopped issuing permits to U.S. companies to export most products and technology to Huawei. This move highlights that the United States has further tightened regulations and related policies on technology exports to China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a press conference, “This is blatant technological bullying. This practice violates the principles of the market economy and the international economic and trade rules. It damages the international community’s confidence in the U.S. business environment. Mao also emphasized that the bullying behavior seriously undermines the order of international trade. Not only does it damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises, but it also affects the stability of the global industrial chain and the supply chain. Part of the reason for the move by the U.S. Ministry of Commerce is that Huawei has changed a lot compared to when it focused on 5G four years ago. For example, Huawei has expanded its business to submarine cables, cloud computing and other fields. Huawei has yet to comment on the matter.

Source: NetEase, February 1, 2023